Dodgers rookie outfielder James Outman has been in quite the slump as of late.
Before Monday, when he went 1-2 with an RBI, Outman was in the midst of an 0-for-20 slump. Dating back to the beginning of May, Outman is hitting just .171/.261/.303 with two home runs, nine RBIs and 33 strikeouts. That’s a far cry from the .289/.366/.600 he hit on his way to winning the National League Rookie of the Month in April.
However, Outman hasn’t been fazed by the slump, something he’s gone through many times in his baseball career. He told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that he knows the hot streak will be coming soon.
“Every season that I’ve ever had, there’s been ups and downs,” Outman said. “It’s one of those things where something will click and I’ll come out of it. I feel like if there’s one thing I can do, it’s get hot. I’ve done it every season. I’ve had stretches where I’ve been really hot. So I’m not so much worried. I just want it to happen sooner than later.”
Things started to look better for Outman on Monday when he finally got a hit and then stole a base. In his second at-bat, he got a productive out, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field.
It’s the small things that help someone get out of a slump, and hopefully Monday’s game helps Outman get back on track. The pitchers have made their adjustments to Outman’s game, so it’s now on him to readjust.
He said he’s been doing his work to readjust, however, it’s hard to make adjustments while also trying to remain consistent at the plate. He’s working through his first real struggles at the MLB level, though, and his manager knows he’ll figure things out sooner rather than later.
“Sometimes the thing with young players – and we’ve all seen it – things happen fast here,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “So where you just run them out there and turn a blind eye, it really spirals fast. So I think if you can get people out of that hot box for a little bit, it slows down. He’ll be fine.”
Roberts has helped Outman get out of that hot box by giving him some days off, but isn’t worried about him in the long run. Outman is a key part of this lineup, and will keep going out there as he gets things back on track.
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